Breaking: Arrests in Miami Terror Probe

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jun 22, 2006 6:19 PM

The Sears Tower was apparently a target:

Seven people are in custody after the FBI and state and local law enforcement agents carried out raids in Miami, Florida, connected with an alleged plot to attack landmark U.S. buildings, officials told CNN on Thursday.

Officials said no weapons or bomb-making materials had been found in the searches so far. The Miami area is under no imminent threat, according to the FBI.

Law enforcement sources told CNN that the arrests disrupted the early stages of a domestic terrorist plot to attack the Sears Tower in Chicago, Illinois, the FBI building in Miami, and possibly other targets.

Kim at Wizbang has more on the suspects:

According to sources familiar with the investigation, the group allegedly planned to bomb the FBI building in Miami and the Sears Tower in Chicago.

The group has been under surveillance for some time and was infiltrated by a government informant who allegedly led them to believe he was an Islamic radical. The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.

Reuters explains how the FBI got the break:


The source, elaborating on a statement on the operation from Florida authorities, said the suspects had thought they were dealing with the international al Qaeda group but had been infiltrated by a U.S. government informant...

"They thought they were dealing with al Qaeda," the source said, adding the suspects had been trying to buy weapons and other things needed to carry out attacks.

The source said the government had an informant with whom the suspected conspirators had discussed their plans. "There was no immediate threat because we were in on the discussions." the source said.

AP: Al Qaeda or no?

As part of the raids related to the arrests, FBI agents swarmed a warehouse in Miami's Liberty City area, using a blowtorch to take off a metal door...

The official told The Associated Press the alleged plotters were mainly Americans with no apparent ties to al-Qaida or other foreign terrorist organizations. He spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt news conferences planned for Friday in Washington and Miami.


Folks in the neighborhood say they were recruiting:

Residents living near the warehouse said the men taken into custody described themselves as Mulims and had tried to recruit young people to join their group, which seemed militaristic.

The residents said FBI agents spent several hours in the neighborhood showing photos of the suspects and seeking information. They said the men had lived in the area about a year.

The men slept in the warehouse, said Tashawn Rose, 29. "They would come out late at night and exercise. It seemed like a military boot camp that they were working on there. They would come out and stand guard."

She talked to one of the men about a month ago: "They seemed brainwashed. They said they had given their lives to Allah."

Rose said the men tried to recruit her younger brother and nephew for a karate class.

"It was weird," she said.

LGF has a big round-up, including Kos Kidz' reactions.